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We should also be aware of the importance of continued federal and local support for programs like those supported by the Area Agencies on Aging, which are typically designated by states to meet needs older people in local and regional areas, and Meals on Wheels.These groups not only provide support services but also decrease social isolation.
Making it more complex is that elder abuse occurs in many different settings: private homes, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and public places. A study funded by the National Institute of Justice showed that most perpetrators knew their victims and included spouses, family members, acquaintances and health care professionals. As a result, identifying a single cause or a simple prevention strategy is very difficult because of the interaction among the form of abuse, the setting and the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim.Supporting victims to increase reporting is also essential.People need to take personal responsibility and report what they see or suspect.Research is limited to reported cases, and only about one in 24 cases of abuse is reported.Many go unreported because older adults may not know how to get help or may be incapable of asking for help.